As IT systems have grown more complex, the associated infrastructure to deal with hardware, software and user problems has become correspondingly more sophisticated. This has also affected the role of the traditional helpdesk, which is fast changing to that of a broad-based support centre.
Helpdesk software has emerged as the ideal way to help IT managers cope with difficulties ranging from a printer not working to a server crash. Yet many corporate enterprises still rely on a pen-and-paper-based logging system and even more depend on the 'buddy system', which involves asking the nearest colleague if he knows what is wrong.
Tony Adams, a principal consultant at Hoskyns' distributed computer services division, says there is still wide-spread dependence on the 'shadow IT' support system, the network which exists in most organisations for one employee to casually help and support others.
'We call it the
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